More than two dozen Hamilton County high school students were sworn in today to serve on the county's first youth court.
Juvenile Judge Rob Philyaw said the students had trained diligently after school and work to serve as leaders to their peers who had run afoul of the law.
Through the youth court, some juvenile defendants will have the option of having their cases heard by the youth court - instead of standard juvenile court.
Across the state, Philyaw said the program has been wildly successful.
"Ninety-three percent of the defendants who appear in youth court across the state do not reoffend within the year," Philyaw said.
So far, students from Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences; East Ridge, Lookout Valley and Tyner high schools; and Signal Mountain Middle/High School are participating. Philyaw says he hopes the program will expand in the future.